From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

‘Valuing Life’s Passages’ is theme of Pastoral Care Week

the Inland Register

(From the Oct. 4, 2001 edition of the Inland Register)

The week-long, international observance of Pastoral Care Week, Oct. 21-28, will honor the well-trained and gifted pastoral caregivers of all faiths who labor around the clock in congregations and highly specialized settings. These may include hospitals, correctional facilities, mental health clinics, the military and pastoral counseling centers.

The focus of the celebration is the way in which pastoral caregivers value each individual person, including all that helps form the person, from within and without.

Often people are defined by their life circumstances — diabetic, depressed, inmate, and nursing home resident. Such aspects of their lives say something about individuals, but don’t tell their whole complex stories or describe the fullness of their journeys.

All along life’s continuum pastoral caregivers meet people as they make critical passages. At birth, they “midwife” the new life through ritual and rite to connect with family, place and community. Pastoral caregivers guide the traveler through life passages. They counsel and help reconcile friends, family and lovers as they struggle with the twists and turns of life together. In the evening of life, caregivers assist others in their search for integrity. In dying and death they are often the grief elder as individuals transit the final passage.

“Valuing Life’s Passages” captures the celebration of Pastoral Care Week 2001. From Oct. 21-28 pastoral caregivers will celebrate their commitment to value all the passages of life.

These chaplains, pastoral counselors and educators are committed to serving their fellow travelers at the crossroads that are scattered throughout a lifetime. Within the community are men and women who live the title of pastor caregiver. Join them in celebrating who they are and the care they give.

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